(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2nd May) – The investment market remains unstable as the ringgit opened lower against both the US dollar and the Singapore dollar on the first trading day in May. According to Bank Negara, the ringgit traded at 4.4680 against the US dollar at the opening bell at 9am, down 0.16% from 4.461 last Friday. The foreign exchange market was closed on Monday, May 1st, due to Labor Day.
Muamalat Bank’s Chief Economist, Mohd Afaz Nizam, believes that traders are still divided on whether the Federal Reserve (Fed) will change its stance on US monetary policy at the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Traders are expecting it to hover around the 4.46 level. He notes that the market will pay close attention to the decision of the meeting, and most economists expect an interest rate hike of 25 basis points.
In addition, data shows that business sentiment in the US remains weak, with the ISM manufacturing index edging up to 47.1 points in April but remaining below the 50-point threshold for the past six months. “This shows that businesses in the US are still vigilant, which may affect their hiring decisions, so many businesses will be watching the non-farm payroll data on Friday,” he told Bernama.
Furthermore, the ringgit was at 3.3443 against the Singapore dollar in early trade, depreciating by 0.21% from 3.3373 last Friday. The market remains volatile and uncertain, with investors keeping a close watch on the Fed’s decision and the non-farm payroll data, which could impact business sentiment and market stability.